What Does It Mean to Impose One’s Beliefs On Another?

OK. I realize that I am coing to the Hobby Lobby discussion a little late. Still, I wanted to weigh in and finally found the time. Those that side with Hobby Lobby, and yes I am one of them, say that the Supreme Court’s decision was correct because the government was interfering in the owner’s religious rights by forcing them to pay for abortifacient forms of birth control. This would violate their conscience and go against their religious beliefs. Opponents of Hobby Lobby say that they are forcing their religious beliefs on others by refusing to pay for 4 out of the 20 different methods mandated by ObamaCare. Notice that 16 methods are still paid for. Who is imposing on whom here? It would seem to me that the ones who is being forced to do something against their will is the one being imposed upon in any normal sense of the word imposed. If so, then isn’t it obvious that the government is imposing on Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, EWTN and a host of others, indeed all of us? We are all forced to buy health insurance or face a “tax” as the Court called it. We are all forced to pay our payroll taxes or face fines. An imposition upon somone is the use of force. It’s a classic “do this or else” situation. Given that, how would Hobby Lobby or anyone else be imposing their religious beliefs upon their employees by refusing to pay for abortifacient or any contraceptives? Where is the “or else” for the employees? What is their punishment? There isn’t any for 2 reasons. First, they aren’t being forced to do anything to begin with. There is no “do this” component. They are all free to purchase whatever forms of birth control as an out of pocket expense. No one is preventing that or proposing to stop it on the Hobby Lobby side. They just don’t want to pay for it. Second, there is no “or else” because the problem is not with the employees. It’s with the Federal Government. Refusing to violate moral principles by engaging in commerce forced by the government is not the same as requiring all employees to attend church, go to Bible study or live the exact same moral principles as you do. Even this last one is protected for religious organizations like churches and religious communities who make such requirements an upfront part of the job. Finally, there is no compelling government interest here by forcing this upon employers unless it is the furthering of a contraceptive/abortion mentality among the people as a normal thing.

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